Bernie Sanders drew a massive crowd at a rally held Saturday evening at the University of Washington. The turnout was the largest for any 2016 presidential candidate thus far, according to Bloomberg.
“More than 15,000 people turned out for a rally at the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmunson Pavilion in Seattle on Saturday night, the Vermont senator’s biggest crowd to date, and the largest gathering of any candidate so far.
Bernie Sanders’ crowds have been gaining in size and have been a symbol of his campaign. Turnout is generally high for each event, although CNN notes that the geographical location Sanders chooses contributes to the crowd size.
“Sanders’ staff has also proudly touted the numbers as proof that their campaign is catching fire nationally, though Sanders’ largest rallies have typically been in liberal enclaves such as Madison, Wisconsin, and Sunday’s Pacific Northwest events fit that description,” said an article from CNN.
An earlier event in Seattle did not go so well. Sanders was unable to give one of his scheduled speeches after a couple of Black Lives Matter protesters took over the stage. One of the activists grabbed the microphone and spoke about the inequality in Seattle. They then asked for a moment of silence for the death of Michael Brown Jr., the teenager who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, according MSNBC.
“Sanders stood by silently the entire time. Eventually, organizers decided to end the event and the Vermont senator did not return to the microphone,” said the MSNBC piece.
The incident clearly did not put a damper on Sanders’ next appearance. CNN reported that droves of people had to be turned away from the event due to space.
“According to Michael Lewellen, vice president of corporate communications for the arena, there were over 19,000 people in the arena and an estimated 9,000 people who lined up outside but were unable to get in. Lewellen said a total of 28,000 people tried to attend the event,” CNN’s article on the Portland rallied continued.
The size of Sanders’ crowds seems to only be growing, and that has some political analysts and writers speculating about how much money his campaign is raising. Yet attending a rally and donating (even a small amount) are two different things.
Campaign financial reports are due out in October, so until then, speculate away.
[Bloomberg] [CNN] [MSNBC] [Photo credit: Sarah Priestap/Valley News]